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Oltchim : Romania expects bids for Oltchim petrochemical plant by March 28

03/20/2014 | 10:09am US/Eastern

Romania's government expects bids for troubled chemical plant Oltchim by the end of next week (March 28), daily Evenimentul Zilei reported, quoting the head of the company's trade union, Corneliu Cernev, as saying.

The government reportedly met the leading bidders – two Chinese companies, as well as representatives of OMV Petrom, which is supposed to sell the Arpechim refinery along with Oltchim to the would-be investors.

A failure to sell the chemical company by the end of the month would mean its closure.

In fact, Oltchim operates under insolvency procedures since early last year. The sale of the company in a package with the Arpechim refinery would require major investments and the financial profitability of such a project is debatable. Out of the interested investors, only the Chinese companies are ready to support such investments, the daily reads.

Actually, despite the initial announcements, there are few investors that have purchased the tender book for the sale. Local investor Ioan Vuza – the owner of Chimcomplex Borzesti, and Hungary's MOL are among the supposed bidders – but both are interested in Oltchim alone, without the refinery.

The price asked by OMV Petrom for the Arpechim refinery might not be too high, particularly because demolishing it would incur significant costs, the daily speculates. However, resuming operations at the refinery incurs large costs also since OMV Petrom has already dismantled part of it. OMV Petrom has closed down the refinery two years ago afterseveral failed attempts to sell it.

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